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Summer of fun at Lincolnshire golf club
July 18, 2011

A Lincolnshire golf club is putting its young players on course to becoming future members - by getting them out on the course.

Gainsborough Golf Club has been delighted by the response to launching its Ping Junior Academy with nearly 100 youngster signed up inside its first year.

And club officials believe that putting the emphasis on giving the youngsters - aged from five through to 16 - the chance to play on one of the two 18 hole courses in Belt Road, Thonock, provides a vital stepping stone towards a long-term involvement in the sport.

Says Simon Keane, Gainsborough Golf Club Operations Manager: "It's great to get youngsters involved in the game, but one of the problems has always been keeping hold of them.

"We think that if you simply leave them hitting golf balls out on the range there is a danger of them becoming bored, so we organise time out on the course for them to learn how to play.

"It can also be quite intimidating for a young person who is interested in playing golf to approach a club about joining, but the Academy provides a pathway towards becoming a future club member.

"Anyone attending any of our events, like taster sessions or our Monday night fun activities, is automatically given free membership of the Academy. From there they can consider becoming a full junior member of the club in the future."

Gainsborough is holding Monday evening fun nights from 5pm-7pm at a cost of just £2 per child until the end of September.

Adds Simon Keane: "We want to make playing golf as fun as possible and it is great for the youngsters to start with other children in the same position of perhaps starting a new sport and making new friends at the same time."

Equipment is provided and the Academy is organised so that the club's PGA professional Steve Cooper can offer the right coaching, whether it be to absolute beginners or lower handicap players.

Says Steve Cooper: "We have a very exciting crop of young players and the future of the club and the Junior Team looks very healthy for the years ahead. I think the class of 2011 will produce some very good golfers."

Further details of the Ping Junior Academy are available from Simon Keane on 07950 701305 or by e-mailing

The club can be contacted at 01427 613088 while details of events planned for the summer can be found by visiting the website

Says Shona Dickson, county development officer for the Lincolnshire County Golf Partnership: "The Academy at Gainsborough is one of the many projects going on throughout the county to break down the barriers to youngsters coming into the sport and is reaping dividends for the club. It is this kind of proactive approach that serves the clubs well and helps to safeguard not only the sport's long-term future, but their own in these challenging economic times."

The Lincolnshire County Golf Partnership is a collaboration of a number of stakeholders in the sport including the English Golf Union, The English Women's Golf Association, the PGA, the Golf Foundation and Sport England.

In Lincolnshire it is supported by the Lincolnshire Union of Golf Clubs, the Lincolnshire Ladies County Golf Association and the Lincolnshire PGA.


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